All pupils study English throughout Years 7 – 11. The number of lessons varies per year group, with Year 7s allocated seven sessions per fortnight.
In Year 7, pupils are placed in setted ability teaching groups. This is based on data provided by our feeder schools, along with any work the pupils do during induction. Years 8 and 9 are also setted, using a combination of assessment and teacher judgement to determine the best group for each child. Regular reviews of progress ensure that placements are correct and pupils are encouraged to reach the highest possible levels of attainment in each group.
To enable pupils to achieve their very best, a programme of reading, writing, and speaking and listening activities is provided in line with the National Curriculum. A wide range of topics in Key Stage 3 meet the demands of the Curriculum and help prepare the students for GCSE. The English Department’s aim is to develop and build upon the skills our pupils have been taught at Key Stage 2 in an engaging and fun way, whilst preparing them for Key Stage 4 and beyond. Our programme of study is evolving all of the time, but some of the topics that Year 7 will study include, amongst others, a unit on School Life, Gothic Horror, and Heroes and Villains. In line with the National Curriculum, we also look at the life and works of William Shakespeare. We no longer use levels, but instead are following the Lancashire method of assessing work by banding in reading and writing, in line with the vast majority of other schools in the county.
We believe that good reading habits are central to success at English. In addition to studying a range of authors and texts across Key Stage 3 (and 4), all pupils in Year 7 will have a timetabled ILC/library lesson. The use of the Independent Learning Centre is encouraged, and in these timetabled visits, pupils are encouraged to read. This is then monitored by their English teacher, alongside the library staff.
All pupils study English Language and English Literature at GCSE level; in addition, the department offers GCSE Drama and GCSE Media Studies within the school’s option system.
English at Baines does not stop at age 16. The department offers English Literature, English Language and Media Studies at A/S and A2 Level, and the various skills and abilities developed in Key Stage 3 and 4 find natural progression into Sixth Form work.